Lipo Fat Reappears, but in New Places

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Fat that is removed from the hips during liposuction comes back within 12 months in the abdomen, according to a study published online on April 7, 2001 in the journal Obesity. For “Fat Redistribution Following Suction Lipectomy: Defense of Body Fat and Patterns of Restoration,” University of Colorado-Denver researcher Teri L. Hernandez, et al, followed 32 non-obese women with disproportionate adipose tissue in the lower abdomen, hips or thighs. A control group of 18 women received no liposuction, 14 participants underwent small-volume liposuction. The researchers recorded baseline body composition measurements for all subjects using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, abdominal and limb circumferences, subcutaneous skinfold thickness and magnetic resonance imaging in the torso and thighs. The measurements were repeated six weeks, six months and one year out, and the participants agreed not to make lifestyle changes while enrolled. At six weeks, body fat decreased by 2.1% in the liposuction group and by 0.28% in the control group. The difference decreased at six months and by one year, the difference in the groups was no longer significant. But, the adipose tissue did reaccumulate differently among different sites. In the liposuction group, the thigh region remained reduced while the adipose tissue reaccumulated in the abdominal region. The researchers conclude, “Body fat was restored and redistributed from the thigh to the abdomen.”

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